Vice President Mike Pence says the White House coronavirus task force could wind down its work by early June.
Pence told reporters at a White House briefing that the U.S. could be “in a very different place” by late May and early June. Pence says the administration is beginning to eye the Memorial Day to early June window as the appropriate time to have federal agencies manage the pandemic response in a more traditional way.
Pence’s comments came as an Associated Press analysis found infection rates rising even as states start to lift their lockdowns.
The vice president characterized the discussions as preliminary.
"It really is all a reflection of the tremendous progress we’ve made as a country. The President stood up the White House Coronavirus Task Force to marshal -- in January -- to marshal a national response," Pence said.
President Donald Trump said it was time for the White House to shift focus.
"The people of our country are warriors," Trump said during a visit to Arizona on Tuesday. "I'm not saying anything is perfect, and yes will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon."
Dr. Deborah Birx, the task force coordinator, says the federal government will still keep a close eye on the data when if the task force disbands.
Trump said he still plans to be advised by Dr. Birx and fellow coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci after the task force disbands.